Bong R. Osorio

71 posts
Bong R. Osorio is the communications consultant and spokesman of ABS-CBN Corp.

The best way to mine a good PR idea is to have a lot of PR ideas

RECENTLY I was invited by a group of young PR minds to share my thoughts on how to think creatively in the PR practice.  The challenges in their heads are varied: how to move away from a creative process that no longer works, how to become freer and more inspired, and how to think differently or what many call, “thinking out of the box.”

Ethical PR professionals don’t create or foster gossip

IF you tell a colleague about a mutual associate undergoing financial woes, you may simply be trying to understand why your troubled friend is not at his best. From one view, people might misconstrue such an act as gossiping and that you hope the information you shared with your buddy will spread, but from another perspective, some might look at it as a show of concern for a comrade, who is in dire straits, and you are doing it, knowing that the classified information remains secure with you and your receivers.

Agility in a VUCA world

THE second Asean PR Conference was held on April 29, 2019, was hosted by Kuching, Sarawak, and the Asean PR Network (APRN) in collaboration with the Institute of PR Malaysia (IPRM) and the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (GAPRCM).

How the Filipino child consumes media

IN an organization, a stakeholder is a member of “groups without whose support the organization would cease to exist.” The word was first used in a 1963 internal memorandum at the Stanford Research Institute. The theory was later developed and championed by R. Edward Freeman in the 1980s. Since then, it has gained wide acceptance in business practice: PR, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) or social impact communication. Any action taken by any organization might affect those people who are linked with them in sectors like children, parents and other publics that impact the organization’s operation.

When PR encounters politics

THE current political air in the country brings back to the consciousness of the electorate the word “propaganda.” The term is generally defined as the dissemination of information or a means to generate awareness, education and persuasion. It is oftentimes used interchangeably with the practice of PR. But to be more specific, propaganda connotes the distribution of data—truthful or otherwise—with the goal of persuading people about a commercial brand or a political product, or an advocacy of an issue, a position or a program.

Small data and our PR life

BIG data is a hugely important trend that we must monitor. It is a term that describes the large volume of data—both structured and unstructured—that swamps a business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s critical. It is what organizations—including PR-based operations—do with the data that matters.

Humanity working in harmony with technology

TECHNOLOGY in marketing and communications—including public relations—is accelerating in high speed. And technology and the impact it creates to our personal and professional lives is here to stay. Whether we accept that technology has changed the PR practice for the better—or for the worse—it will undoubtedly play an aggressive role in the profession’s evolution. Keep our seat belts on. There will be more twists and turns coming.

Trust is not an issue. It is the issue.

FUTURE Focus 2019: Searching for Trust, a research initiative of iProspect, a multinational digital marketing agency under the Dentsu Aegis Network, focuses on managing growth with integrity. It explores the impact of digital on trust in an era of unprecedented disruption, and the implications for us all, and has defined the trust equation to be: trust = credibility + relevance + reliability.

Being in step with the world’s overwhelming changes

THE publics are changing. The programs are evolving. The platforms are transforming. It’s time that you, as a marketing and public relations communications custodian, start to re-invent yourself. As singer-songwriter Bob Dylan muses early on: “Come gather around, people, wherever you roam. And admit that the waters around you have grown. Then you’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone. For the times, they’re a-changing”

Unlocking new values to boost brand reputation

Trust and transparency are the top brand values in the digital economy. They help to reaffirm the connection between what the brand stands for and what you as an individual would like to be associated with.”—Ashley George, former Global Head of Innovation and Consumerization Centre of Excellence, Glaxo Smith Kline

A sharper approach to influencer communication

INFLUENCER communication—PR and marketing included—is the process of determining, investigating, involving and maintaining the people who create and sustain high-impact conversations with customers about your brand, products or services. It gave way to the age of deference—or putting people on a pedestal or high esteem. It will continue to grow in importance as a tool for the marketing communications industry, as the sector seeks new and inventive ways of creating third-party advocacy for brands, organizations and people.

‘Mr. Wonderful’ Kevin O’Leary’s business success principles

TYCOONS, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, media and marketing professionals, and venture capitalists in Manila got a taste of the cold, hard truths of business from Kevin O’ Leary, the billionaire business investor famously known as “Mr. Wonderful” in the award-winning business-themed program Shark Tank, during the latest leg of ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel’s Leadership Series, held recently at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

Centennials: Consumers of the future and their online buying behavior

CENTENNIALS—also known as generation Z—are those born between now and 1995. Accounting for about 277 million of Southeast Asia’s population, 50 percent of them spend more than $30 a month on online shopping, while 9 percent spend over $100 monthly. The size of this new generation alone makes them attractive for retailers, but the behaviors of this group make them lucrative in terms of its online shopping and e-commerce potential.  They are the consumers of the future.

Making PR work to your advantage in the digital economy

THE Asean PR Network (APRN) staged a one-day summit recently on “PR and the Digital Economy” coinciding with the inauguration of the Bali, Indonesia Campus of the London School of PR. The main campus is in Jakarta.  This writer represented the Philippines in the summit and also delivered a talk on “PR Strategies and Tactics in the Digital Economy.” Highlights of my talk are below:

Be authentic, communicate often and win awards

Utility companies, by the nature of their business, unavoidably will have to muddle through issues like outages and aggravated publics repetitively. Some customers may feel that utilities are sluggish in reacting, and project a “we don’t care” attitude considering that the customers don’t always have a choice about who provides the public services they need. With concerns like these, utility companies may have a hard time being among the most appreciated or liked brands.  That’s why there are communications leaders and teams that take care of connecting with various publics that impact on the business. What’s critical is that utilities should have people providing service and engagement to their customers. And truth to tell, a little customer engagement can go a long way in keeping customers delighted­—or at least patient and uncomplaining.

Gen Z has arrived

IT is projected that generation Z will be the world’s largest demographic by the year 2020. PR and marketing communicators must watch this “public” closely to be in step with how to speak their language and win them over their side.

Inspire trust, extend trust

‘ANC Presents: Leading with Trust, A Session with Stephen M.R. Covey” is part of the country’s premier all-English cable news channel’s efforts to raise the level of discourse on global affairs and business issues in the country by bringing globally respected thought leaders for a one-day speaking engagement.

Bringing influence into your PR communication

WHO you are as a PR communicator is defined by what you do, a communication principle anchored on improvisational thinking, which is the transfer of energy from a source, to defined target publics of an idea, or a belief based on a specific behavior or intended action. It is looking at communication differently, rising above traditional modes of sending and receiving messages.  It is going beyond upward and downward information, stirring your way from the usual printed and electronic dissemination to other new-fangled media distribution platforms.

As a PR professional, be so good that people can’t ignore you

WHEN you talk to PR communications people, the most basic questions they ask are:  How can my client’s work and my work get known? How do I rise above the clutter and get noticed? How do I get my story read, or my column followed?  Author Austin Kleon shared some great advice from his tome “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

Digital updates and strategies to connect to customers differently

DENTSU Aegis Network and Salesforce held the first-ever client-agency interaction called “Social Connect” on April 11, on happy hours. It allowed marketing leaders to network and learn from each other in a friendlier, more relaxed setting. Similar events in the future will be hosted by the partner companies to keep current and prospective clients abreast of the latest trends in the digital economy.

The power of storytelling

PETER Guber, Mandalay Entertainment Group chairman and CEO, engaged his audience as he shared his leadership story and the importance of storytelling in business in a recent “ANC Leadership Series: Telling Stories, Winning Games” forum held by ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

‘The best way to get a good idea is to have a lot of ideas’

Recently I was invited by a group of young PR minds involved in producing interstitials to share my thoughts on how to think creatively.  The challenges in their heads are varied—how to move away from a creative process that no longer works, how to become freer and more inspired and how to think differently or what many call “thinking out of the box.”

Shameless self-promotion can also work for you

When I was still actively teaching in the Communication Arts department of the University of Santo Tomas, I usually start my class by doing an exercise on branding to determine the most unique feature, trait or character of each and every one of my students.

‘Kiss Your BUT Good-bye’

Imperfections abound everywhere. They perhaps shape the foundation of your performance issues and career hurdles. If you are fortunate, you may have an administrator who directly points out your shortcomings and suggests remedial action. But without somebody calling attention to your flaws, you may find yourself continually under the shadow of misperceptions and misimpressions.

Bringing kindness is good for the corporate soul

Filipinos have dealt with, and continue to deal with the upshot of all sorts of disasters and crises with passion and compassion. After all, no one can help us through all these ordeals but our indomitable spirit and collective power to get out of the rut. As we carry on with our civic duties, let me share a few observations from our bouts with tragedy in recent history.

Christmas in your PR heart

It’s been asked many times and many ways, but many, including myself, can’t resist asking it again. What is the true meaning of Christmas? That it has been too commercialized has become an off-the-cuff response, what with the trademark rush and gush of shopping, dining and wining that kicked off as early as November. But more than the materialism attached to this most-awaited event, it should be a celebration of affection, bigheartedness, goodwill, compassion, brotherhood and familial bonding. It is a fete of love for each other, joy in people’s hearts, peace that pervades all around and hope that springs eternal. As this year’s Christmas ID of ABS-CBN encourages, the call is to “Just LOVE.”

Pyro PR

The age of mass marketing is ending, and the circumstances that enabled it to peak in the 1960s and dominate the last century have been replaced with new conditions that demand a new approach. Mass marketing communication lorded it over the landscape because of limited product choice clustered consumers, broad media availability but limited choice, and low consumer resistance to advertising.

Remarkable customer service is remarkable public relations

The customer-service function, particularly in-service companies, is the most challenged during the Christmas season. Department-store salespeople have to contend with clients who demand quick assistance, oblivious to the mammoth number of shoppers that compete for attention. Airline, hotel and restaurant desks have to muster extreme patience and control when confronted with irate patrons who may turn into monsters in a jiffy, unmindful that they are not the only ones that are on the line—offline or online.

‘The Boardroom’ views on PR

One keynote speaker, eight learning modules, 28 discussants,  eight moderators four entertainment numbers, two awards ceremonies and one after-event cocktail comprised the jam-packed “The Boardroom,” the two-day  24th National PR Congress, held in the Public Relation (PR) month of September in Shangri-La, The Fort. Here are some key learnings from the hugely successful gathering of PR movers and shakers:

PR competencies: Knowledge, skills and values

I just came back from the first Asean public relations (PR) Conference in Bali, Indonesia, hosted by the Asean PR Network and the Global Alliance of Public Relations. This conference brought together exciting speakers representing various industries and sectors from all over the world, who provided fresh and exciting perspectives on the PR profession. The gathering was extra special, since it marked the Asean’s 50th anniversary.

Diplomacy and public relations

FORMER US Secretary of State Dr. Madeleine Albright delivered a stimulating talk and sharply answered questions in an open forum in the hugely successful ANC Leadership Forum on Global Governance and World Economy, held recently in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.

Responding to ‘what if’ questions

THIS piece is related to my April 30 column on the “Spokesman is as good as his last interview”. As you all know, the spokesman of a company is the official mouthpiece of an organization. The remarks of a spokesman will most likely deal with “what if” questions and how these questions can be handled with greater impact and efficiency, how to talk to reporters, and how to deal with “bad news” strategically. Being reachable and available and taking note of the long-established PR axiom, “mess up, ‘fess up”, are top-of-mind advice, but a spokesman has to be the best communicator to handle media’s hard scrutiny well. Much like a theater talent or a film actor, a PR spokesman is only as good as his last quote.

PR assumes a starring role

IN today’s integrated communication practice, effective public relations (PR) no longer performs a supporting role. It now plays the principal character, a starring role if you will. It is essential in strategic planning and is seen to be very important to your competitive success more than advertising or marketing. It may sound like wishful thinking, but PR is leading the way these days, while traditional advertising appears to have lost its glitter. Companies and individuals have successfully used PR to achieve great things or to repair damaged institutions and people. Thus, learning to use this powerful force for good is an imperative. Declaring “PR is the most commanding authority in modern society” is not an empty boast given the many success stories from big companies, influential personalities, threatened corporate reputations and PR crises and disasters, where PR plays a significant responsibility. And since it is globally replacing advertising as the promotional strategy of choice for individuals and organizations, it’s undoubtedly important to understand and truly appreciate how PR works, and how you can harness its muscle.

PowerPoint and PR presentation

BY and large, a real leader —particularly a public relations (PR) leader —delivers a speech or a talk not to impress, but to express. A real leader doesn’t attempt to master presentation technology, but makes a difference, endorses a dream, nurtures an idea and follows a vision. A real leader changes the way people think. Essentially, he forms messages that encourage people to think differently, to influence and inspire them, and ultimately, to alter the way they feel, think and take action today or in the near future.

Digital disruptions will affect the way we do PR

‘DIGITAL disruption is a mind-set that ultimately leads to a way of behaving; a mind-set that bypasses traditional analog barriers, eliminating the gaps and boundaries that prevent people and companies from giving customers what they want in the moment that they want it.”—James McQuivey

A spokesman is as good as his last interview

AN airline customer, already seated comfortably in his assigned seat, is dragged out of the plane because of an overbooking case. A passenger ferry collides with a cargo ship and a number of people get hurt or die. An oil spill occurs, negatively affecting the livelihood of the affected towns. A whistle-blower talks about taxpayers’ money being squandered by a greedy few, driving people to march in protest and anger. A White House spokesman sparks outrage after stating a politically and culturally incorrect parallel between Hitler, the Nazi dictator; and Assad and his actions in Syria. A Malacañang mouthpiece engages a beat reporter in heated debate.

Legal PR defines the future of PR communications

LAWSUITS or class actions are now part of first-world business landscapes. And although you can challenge an unfavorable court decision on a legal case, there is no right of appeal in the court of public opinion, where the stakes can be much higher, making or breaking the reputation of a brand, a company or a person. These factors have given rise to a communication practice, a niche in the public-relations (PR) horizon. It’s on many lists these days, and it’s called litigation PR (LPR). And from the way the information economy is moving, it’s a tool that will eventually be a staple in the menu of services of PR agencies, as well as the list of functions of in-house PR practitioners in the Philippines.

How to deal with trolls must be in a PR communicator’s tool kit

THE online world is truly an influential platform, and regrettably, some people have used that influence to smear businesses, people and situations, either out of spite or simply for amusement. They are called cyber bullies, online haters, net tormentors, harassers, defamers, trolls or jerks. Whatever they are called, we have for sure encountered them in one form or another. They are the intimidators who malign an online conversation with ghastly, naughty or off-putting comments or who spitefully attack our online community, personality, brand or company. They are PR professionals’ nightmares, too, particularly if their brands or clients are attacked.

Communicating celebrity

A celebrity or entertainment PR communicator has the enviable opportunity of regularly coming face-to-face with famous and “want to be famous” people. From these encounters, the communicator can debunk or reaffirm time-tested principles of good PR, as well as pick up new knowledge and skills to add to his or her years of professional PR practice. Having been in the midst of celebrity communications management for some time, as vice-president and head of the Integrated Corporate Communications Division of ABS-CBN, allow me to share some observations about how celebrities or would-be celebrities can thrive in the ephemeral showbiz world.

Giving PR a new purpose

CONSUMER movements in discovering information, consuming them and sharing them have altered the hubs of power and authority from traditional PR media outlets to a combination of offline and online communicators, bloggers, web-site owners and social media-savvy publishers.

PR people must have a seat in the strategy table

In the good old days, business communication got through a lot of pitching armed with well-written and edited news releases sent either through snail mail or e-mail, or personally delivered to publications or broadcast networks by savvy media-relations people. Undoubtedly, the rapid rise of social media and difficult economic times have had a profound influence on the way businesses communicate, and how the CEO must connect with his or her publics.

Never allow a cruel word to escape your mouth

BONG OSORIOBEING nice is great public relations. You make people feel good, and it brings benefits to the corporate bottom line in all sorts of ways—from employee attraction and retention, to winning new clients, to producing a better product or service, and developing an admirable reputation.

Great PR is consistently doing the right thing

BONG OSORIOIN the spirit of recommitment to selflessness and community service, individuals, businesses, public organizations and educational institutions, among other groups that deal with defined stakeholders, are equally urged to declare their dedication to doing what is right.

Making your PR message fascinating

‘YOU don’t control fascination. Fascination controls you,” said Sally Hogshead, a multiawarded advertising and public-relations (PR) creative, and a prominent brand consultant and author, who was a Philippine visitor early this year.

In P.R. and in life, trust our future to possibilities, not luck

TODAY, Monday, February 8, we are celebrating the Chinese New Year. We wonder what new opportunities and new hopes—and on the reverse, what misfortunes—these events bring to us, the PR industry and the country. Notwithstanding financial difficulties and disastrous weather conditions, we prepare by surrounding ourselves with the symbols and charms for good luck that the Year of the Monkey will favor, as if to appease an irascible higher being who might, with one sweep of his celestial hand, cast us a sorry lot.

‘Thank you’ should be a constant in our vocabulary

IF you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.—Lao Tzu

The art of dodging

WE can’t deny it. There are instances in our daily life that we want to avoid a person or a situation. We bumped onto a college pal you have not seen for years, who with nary a trace of embarrassment on his face borrows money from you. Or we got an invitation, from an in-law to spend the weekend in their place, but we don’t exactly like what seems to be an insincere summon. Or we are in a cocktail party and a former client whom we are not exactly fond of engages us in small talk.

A PR communicator must be a voice of authority

‘HOW people talk to each other absolutely determines how well the organization will function,” said Larry Bossidy, chairman of Honeywell International. Indeed, it’s imperative for every company, association or group to have an efficient PR communication system in place to ensure functional divisions and purposeful team members working toward a common goal, especially during tough times.

Gossip sells, but ruins reputation

IF you tell a colleague about a mutual associate undergoing financial woes, you may simply be trying to understand why your troubled friend is not at his best. In one view, people might misconstrue such an act as gossiping and that you hope the information you shared with your buddy will spread.

PR people need memory enhancers

NO doubt you have been in a situation where, while eating in a restaurant, you bumped into a prospective client whom you met in a new business pitch a week ago, but can’t seem to remember the name. Or you can’t recall where you left your car key or cell phone when you’re already late for an appointment. Or you go blank when asked a critical question by your superior in a status-update meeting.

Blogger relations

IMAGINE you are the head of your company’s corporate communication division, and you are faced with this situation—a dissatisfied client (who, unfortunately, you found out just now), happens to be a well-followed blogger, writes a mocking post about your product or service based on a recent encounter.

To communicate is to connect

COMMUNICATE. Communicate. Communicate. Communication’s true essence is commonness, the mutuality of understanding and connectedness. Sender and receiver, one in goal and harness, where message channeling is handled with correctness.

Fighting a great PR fight through great PR stories

THE challenge of PR communicators is how to get their messages consistently cut through the clutter of information and, in the process, grow their brands or corporate identities into icons. Today the “theater of brand war” has expanded, where all kinds of stories struggle to be heard in a universe of media dins and shout-outs.

Directing your own professional image

IF you are involved in a public relations communications consultancy or, perhaps, any other type of consultancy work, you will agree that you always face the reality that clients, your coworkers and other groups that you interface with are constantly observing your behavior, the way you conduct business and in the process, form theories about your competence, character and commitment—the 3 Cs that frame who you are and what you can get done.

Think, feel, do

IN an extemporaneous speech delivered in Spanish during his encounter with the youth in University of Santo Tomas (UST), Pope Francis said, “The Gospel offers us a serene way forward: Using the three languages of the mind, heart and hands—and to use them in harmony. What you think, you must feel and put into effect. Your information comes down to your heart and you put it into practice. Harmoniously. What you think, you feel and you do. Feel what you think and feel what you do. Do what you think and what you feel. The three languages…”

Think, feel, do

IN an extemporaneous speech delivered in Spanish during his encounter with the youth in University of Sto. Tomas, Pope Francis said, “The Gospel offers us a serene way forward: using the three languages of the mind, heart and hands—and to use them in harmony. What you think, you must feel and put into effect. Your information comes down to your heart and you put it into practice. Harmoniously. What you think, you feel and you do. Feel what you think and feel what you do. Do what you think and what you feel. The three languages…”

The state of the practice of PR in the Philippines

IN recent years the public-relations (PR) profession has been challenged by the increasing demand for research, benchmarking and measurability. Yet, many PR practitioners still move on with their plans, using limited research tools or totally doing away with any kind of exploratory activity or thorough evaluation of the impact of what they implement.